User-Generated Content (UGC): How to Use It in Your Marketing Strategy


User-generated content (UGC) has become an essential part of marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. When creating and posting online, consumers crave authentic connections and real-life experiences from the brands they love. That’s where user-generated content (UGC) comes into play. It is an opportunity to showcase content created by your customers, and target audience to connect on a deeper level.

UGC isn’t just about sharing pictures or videos – it’s about fostering a sense of community, building trust, and amplifying the voices of those who truly believe in your brand. When done right, UGC can drive engagement, increase brand awareness, and even boost sales.

In this post, we’ll explore the world of user-generated content and discuss practical strategies for incorporating it into your marketing efforts and how to harness the power of real stories to turn your customers into brand ambassadors and boost your business.

What is User-Generated Content?


User-generated content (UGC) refers to various types of content (e.g., text, images, videos, reviews) that are created and shared by customers and fans, not by the brand itself. These genuine expressions from happy customers and enthusiastic fans act as credible endorsements for the brand.

UGC or content created by users, has changed how brands interact with their customers in the world of marketing. UGC can come from many places, like social media posts, customer reviews, and more. It’s a great source of real content that can make relationships between brands and consumers feel more real.

Using UGC marketing instead of traditional marketing methods has been a major advantage for businesses. Furthermore, social media platforms like Instagram have emerged as popular venues for User-Generated Content (UGC). Users on these platforms use visually engaging formats to share their experiences using various products and services.

Why is User Generated Content Important?

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UGC is a vital tool in modern marketing because it helps brands connect with customers genuinely and engagingly. It builds trust, raises brand awareness, and influences how consumers think about your brand, all of which can lead to more sales.

UGC stands out because it’s authentic, it’s not like ads that try to look too perfect. Instead, it shows what people think and do. This helps build trust and makes potential customers feel like they can relate to your brand.

UGC can greatly increase your brand visibility. When customers share their positive experiences with your products or services, they act as unofficial brand ambassadors spreading your message to their networks.

When you see positive feedback, reviews, and photos from real users, you’re more likely to trust and choose that option. This applies to everything from vacation rentals to products and services. Just as a glowing recipe review from a cook can convince you to buy a particular brand, UGC can make businesses seem more credible and trustworthy.

How to Get User-Generated Content


Creating campaigns that encourage participation from customers is a powerful way for businesses to engage authentically with their audience through user-generated content marketing. This approach allows companies to connect with their customers in a relatable and genuine manner, making it an effective strategy for building relationships and driving brand loyalty.

Here are some effective strategies to help you get more user-generated content (UGC) for your brand:

1. Run contests and giveaways

This is a great way to Incentivize your audience to create and share content by running photo, video, or caption contests. Offer appealing prizes like brand merchandise, gift cards, or discounts for the winners to encourage more participants.

2. Use branded hashtags:

Create unique and branded hashtags that encourage your followers to share their experiences with your products or services. This allows you to promote these hashtags across your marketing channels and engage with the UGC that uses them. it is also another great opportunity to track people who are engaging your brand and following the campaigns.

3. Leverage influencers

Collaborating with influencers or brand ambassadors who have an engaged following can make your campaign go viral and get more engagement. They can help inspire their audience to create and share content related to your brand.

4. Showcase and repost UGC

When users share content featuring your brand, repost or share their content on your channels. This encourages others to do the same to get featured and recognized.

5. Offer incentives

Reward users who create and share high-quality content with your brand by offering discounts, free products, or exclusive experiences. This can make them give positive reviews on their social media pages about your brand and participate in company activities.

6. Host or sponsor events

Organize or sponsor events, meetups, or experiences that encourage attendees to share their experiences through photos, videos, or social media updates. This will help the company stay connected with its audience and let them feel the experience of connecting with the brand.

Types of User-Generated Content


User-created content can take on many different forms, each offering its distinct qualities and advantages.

1. Product Reviews

A popular form of user-generated content is product reviews, where individuals share their personal experiences with a specific product or service, aiding others in making well-informed choices.

2. Social Media Posts

One widely used format is social media posts, where individuals generate and distribute content on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. User-generated videos, like unboxing videos on YouTube, have also gained popularity in the past few years.

3. Video Content

Without a doubt, videos are effective ways to display how users interact with your brand. Consider shooting a video where customer talks about their experiences with their brand and promote it on your social media pages and also your media. These videos not only embody your brand’s identity but also motivate potential customers with relatable situations.

4. Testimonials and Reviews

The influence of word-of-mouth promotion is unquestionable, and UGC effortlessly brings this idea into the online era. Customer testimonials are powerful tools that provide real-life stories about a user’s positive experience with your product or service.  Reviews on the internet, whether they are on a company’s website or third-party sites offer important social proof.

5. Blogs and Forums

Moreover, blogs and forums created by users offer a space for people to express their ideas and beliefs on various subjects. In general, user-generated content is essential in moulding discussions on the internet and impacting how consumers behave.

How to Integrate User-Generated Content into your Marketing Strategy

marketing strategy

Collecting a lot of user-generated content is just the beginning. To truly make the most of it, you need a clear strategy for integrating this authentic content into your marketing efforts to help build credibility, increase engagement, and drive conversions.

1. Know Your Audience

It’s important to first identify who your target audience is before creating user-generated content. Understand their needs, desires, and what they are interested in. This information will help you to effectively utilize user-generated content.

Make sure you have clear objectives for your user-generated content campaign. Whether your goal is to raise brand awareness, introduce a new product, or boost community interaction, defining your goals is crucial for success. Ensure you choose the platform where your audience is most active to ensure participation.

2. Encourage your Audience to create UGC

You are not to take advantage of your audience by using them for free content. Instead, your goal is to inspire them to produce high-quality content in collaboration with your brand. You can offer discounts, free products, and events as forms of compensation. When a user generates User Generated Content (UGC) for your brand, it shows they have a connection with your brand and are likely to appreciate these strategies.

3. Display User-Generated Content

Display UGC on all your marketing channels to ensure it doesn’t go unnoticed. Incorporate captivating photos and videos on your website, social media profiles, and email campaigns. For instance, at the Digital Marketing Skill Institute, we post about our student’s feedback after taking our marketing course from the institute and how they are excelling in their careers. This approach showcases the value of our training programs and enhances credibility by spotlighting the genuine learning experiences facilitated by our institute.

4. Provide a Clear Call to Action (CTA)

Prompt your audience to create content by clearly outlining what you expect from them, whether it’s participating in a contest, sharing stories, or contributing testimonials. This will make it easy to get content that fits the theme of the campaign.

5. Engage with Participants

Interact with users who post user-generated content by liking, commenting, and sharing their submissions. This helps build a sense of community and encourages more participation. It allows for more participants to share their UGC content on their social media pages.

6. Moderate Submissions

Make sure the content matches your brand values and guidelines. Remove any inappropriate or off-brand content to maintain brand consistency. Highlight top submissions on your official channels, give credit to the creators, and celebrate the community. This will increase the reach of your campaign and help build trust with your audience.

7. Measure and Analyze

Keep track of metrics like engagement rate, number of submissions, and conversion rate to assess the success of your user-generated content campaign and gain valuable insights. Doing this will give you great insights on what to tweak and plan for the next campaigns.

8. Thank Participants

When the campaign ends, express gratitude to all participants and share the results or highlights to maintain a positive relationship with your community.

Successful User-Generated Content Example

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Best Practices for User-Generated Content

Craft Engaging Prompts

Don’t just say “Post a picture with our product.” Create clear, compelling prompts that encourage creative and interesting UGC. Run contests or offer incentives to participate.

Embrace Different Formats

UGC isn’t limited to photos! Encourage videos, reviews, blog posts, or social media mentions. This variety keeps your UGC feed fresh and engaging.

Make it Easy to Participate

Use clear and easy-to-follow hashtags. Consider tools that allow users to submit content directly on your website or app.

Integrate UGC Across Marketing Channels

Showcase user-generated content on your website, social media platforms, and email campaigns. Give credit to the creators!

Respond & Show Appreciation

Actively engage with UGC. Like, comment, and share user-generated content. Thank creators for their contributions.

Obtain Permission

Always obtain permission before using UGC. Be transparent about how you’ll use the content and credit the creator.

Analyze UGC

Keep an eye on brand sentiment and user-generated content. Analyze what resonates with your audience and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Build Long-Term Relationships

Foster genuine connections with users who consistently create high-quality UGC. Turn them into brand advocates!

Difference between UGC and Influencer Marketing?

influencer marketing


User-generated content (UGC) marketing and influencer marketing are both ways to harness the potential of digital content creation, but they vary in terms of content creators and compensation arrangements.

Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

UGC (User-Generated Content):

  • Creators: Everyday people, your general audience.
  • Compensation: Typically none. Users create content organically because they enjoy your brand or product.
  • Content: More diverse in format and style. Can include photos, videos, reviews, social media mentions, etc.
  • Focus: Authenticity and real-world experiences.
  • Examples: A customer posting a photo on Instagram using your product with a positive review, someone leaving a 5-star review on your website, or mentioning your brand in a positive tweet.

Influencer Marketing:

  • Creators: Social media influencers with established followings in your target audience.
  • Compensation: Influencers are typically paid a fee, receive products for free, or participate in affiliate programs.
  • Content: More polished and professional due to the influencer’s experience and audience expectations. Often aligns with the influencer’s brand and aesthetic.
  • Focus: Reaching a wider audience and leveraging the influencer’s established credibility.
  • Examples: A beauty influencer creating a sponsored video tutorial using your makeup products, a travel blogger showcasing your hotel on their Instagram with a discount code for their followers, or a tech reviewer posting a sponsored video featuring your new gadget.

Challenges of User-Generated Content

While user-generated content (UGC) offers numerous benefits for brands, there are also several challenges that companies need to be aware of and address. Here are some common challenges associated with UGC:

Content moderation and approval:

With a large volume of UGC being created, it can be challenging to moderate and approve all the content before sharing or using it. Inappropriate, offensive, or low-quality content can potentially damage a brand’s reputation.

Legal and copyright issues

Brands need to ensure that they have the necessary permissions and rights to use UGC, as it may involve copyrighted material or personal information. Failure to obtain proper consent can lead to legal issues.

Measuring ROI

It can be difficult to accurately measure the return on investment (ROI) of UGC campaigns, as the impact on brand awareness, engagement, and sales may not be directly quantifiable.

To overcome these challenges, brands should develop clear guidelines, policies, and processes for managing UGC, invest in appropriate moderation tools and resources, and foster open communication and trust with their communities.


User-generated content (UGC) is more than just a passing marketing fad; it is a valuable resource for cultivating brand loyalty and establishing credibility with your audience. By familiarizing yourself with the various forms of UGC, adopting tactics to stimulate its production, and seamlessly incorporating it into your marketing platforms, you can tap into the genuine perspectives of your customers to enhance your brand and reach your marketing objectives. Therefore, unlock the potential of UGC – witness your brand story thrive as your audience transforms into your most influential storyteller.

Knowing how to generate UGC content from your customer involves different digital marketing strategies, and you can learn that by attending our next digital marketing training to start understanding the fundamentals of online marketing. 


Where can brands use User Generated Content?

Brands can UGC almost anywhere! Think website, social media, email marketing, and even physical ads. Anywhere you want to showcase authenticity and connect with your audience.

What is the UGC strategy?

The UGC strategy is all about turning your happy customers into content creators! You encourage them to share their experiences with your brand (photos, videos, reviews) to build trust and spread brand love.

How to use UGC effectively?

  1. Spark UGC: Run contests, use engaging prompts, and make it easy to participate with hashtags.
  2. Show Love: Credit creators, respond to comments, and share their work across your channels.
  3. Integrate Smartly: Showcase UGC on your website, social media, and email marketing.
  4. Analyze & Adapt: See what resonates and adapt your UGC strategy for continued success.

What is UGC in SEO?

UGC (User-Generated Content) in SEO acts like a digital thumbs-up from your audience. It shows search engines that people love your stuff, potentially boosting your rankings. Think reviews, social mentions, and anything positive users create about your brand.

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